The Gentle Physician CDA68206

The ‘Gentle Physician’ is none other than the character ‘Hope’, possibly the most-referenced of all the characters in Machaut’s poetry. ‘Hope’ is called upon (and much needed!) in the remarkable ‘S’onques dolereusement’ featured on the disc, a 3-part ‘Lai’ (a further poetic form that Machaut almost made his own) that, with its extended form, stretches performance demands to epic proportions. The harmonic writing, full of complexity, trickery and sleights of hand, is riveting. It may come as a surprise to modern listeners that the effects and results that Machaut achieve evoke more than a hint of the ‘minimalist’ style of such composers as Philip Glass and Steve Reich.

Recording details: February 2017
Parish Church of St John the Baptist, Loughton, Essex, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: October 2018
Total duration: 59 minutes 34 seconds

‘As this recital progresses one is struck yet again with the sheer consistency of Machaut’s art. Despite recognisable phrases recurring from work to work, each piece has something to say. The Orlandos hit their stride in this series some time ago, and collectively they gel wonderfully’ (Gramophone)

‘As in all the earlier releases the booklet contains a very informative essay and complete texts and translations based on the new complete edition … the new recording of the Lay de Confort is particularly welcome’ (American Record Guide)

‘The other major coup is Le lay de confort … a splendid performance, ranking among the best single Machaut songs on records … altogether, this series goes from strength to strength’ (Fanfare, USA)» More

‘Machaut's vocal music has had no better advocates than the Orlando Consort, who have released six superb albums of his works, and continue to bring life to his intricate and intrinsically difficult music … the high quality of this 2018 release gives hope for the continued success of this project’ (AllMusic, USA)» More

«Les 3 virelais chantés à une voix (2, 5, 7) sont magnifiques de simplicité, de clarté, de pureté cristalline. La reprise du refrain n’y est jamais simplement perçue comme un retour du même, mais comme le surgissement réitéré d’un moment impalpablement neuf. Dans les pièces polyphoniques une magie entêtante se dégage des voix qui accompagnent ou glosent avec leurs mélismes la ligne principale» (Clic Musique, France)

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What am I listening to?

You are listening to Je suis aussi com cils qui est ravis, a ballade by Guillaume de Machaut for three voices. As Tamsyn Mahoney-Steel puts it in her excellent liner notes for The Single Rose, our most recent recording for Hyperion Records, it is “the song of one depleted by the ravages of love.” “My head is filled with no thoughts …. Save for those of my lady love,” laments the poet-composer. You can hear more on the Hyperion website, read the engaging liner notes, and order or download tracks or the entire album in a number of formats.